Level of sustainability awareness among university students in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia

Tasneem Alsaati (Lead / Corresponding author), Samir El-Nakla, Darin El-Nakla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years, there has been a tremendous interest and increased awareness about sustainability and its related issues globally. The literature reviewed presented the positive role of sustainability education and how it affects students' levels of sustainability awareness and influences behaviors. Therefore, to measure that level of current students' awareness and knowledge of sustainability, a questionnaire was developed and conducted in seven universities within the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, targeting a sample of 500 students from different study programs. The results show that high percentages of participants have heard the term "sustainability" from educational sources, but they lack the knowledge of sustainability, especially when it comes to recognizing recycling materials or renewable materials and energy consumptions measures. It is also noticed that the majority of students are not involved in any type of recycling anywhere. Other results reflecting students' behaviors and lifestyles pertaining to sustainability showed high percentages of involvement in sustainability and conservation actions. The study concludes that in order to promote sustainability awareness among students, other stakeholders such as universities, schools, governments and local municipalities need to take part in the process. Recommendations introduced include actions to be implemented by educational institutes in sustainability literacy and behaviors such as offering mandatory sustainability courses, demonstrating and supporting students' activities in-campus and off-campus to promote sustainable behavior, and to take some measures toward resources conservation and the necessary educational methods to influence students' behaviors. Recommendations are also broadened to include other stakeholders that hold great influence on individuals' sustainable knowledge and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3159
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020


  • Student awareness
  • Student sustainable behavior
  • Sustainability education
  • Sustainability knowledge
  • Sustainable lifestyle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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